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Staind's Lewis Knows How To Play The Tables

of the Oakland Press

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With his band, Staind, Aaron Lewis is used to playing the world’s largest hard rock venues.

But he’s also grown accustomed to smaller parts for his solo acoustic shows, and casino rooms — like the MotorCity Casino-Hotel’s Sound Board that Lewis is visiting this weekend — are a growing part of the mix that he says have their own particular qualities.

“It’s very intimate, loose,” notes Lewis, 37, who plays Staind favorites such as “Outside” and “Been Awhile” in addition to unreleased original material. “I talk a lot to people in the crowd. People yell stuff at me. I make fun of them. It’s loose and fun, and people are more attentive.

“I like it when it’s quiet. (The show) is not really conducive to going to a rock venue and having everybody standing. When it’s quiet, I know that everybody’s listening and paying attention.”

Lewis has documented his solo show on an upcoming CD/DVD set of a 2007 performance that’s awaiting a release date. The package will also include a couple of new studio recordings, which Lewis says is something of a compromise with his current record company while he and Staind start to plot out a new album that marks its final commitment to the label.

“We’ve had some ... complications,” Lewis says with a chuckle. “The idea is that when I go and do my actual solo record, it’ll be free and clear of any record label obligations. We’re going to try to do it out of the box a little bit.

“I’m just sick of making a whole lot of [i]other[/i] people a whole lot of money. These days, there’s viral marketing and everything else you can do as an alternative means of getting music out there — without having somebody take all of the profits from the sale. It’s all about where we’re at in our career and not wanting to give it up anymore.”

Aaron Lewis and Robin Horlock perform at 8 p.m. Saturday (March 6) at Sound Board in the MotorCity Casino-Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $37 and $40. Call 866-782-9622 or visit www.motorcitycasino.com.

Web Site: www.motorcitycasino.com

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